Smashing Success

Las Aletas 17th Annual Spring Smash Tennis Tournament

Las Aletas served up aces yet again with its 17th Annual Spring Smash Tennis Tournament Fundraiser. “I’m happy to say we raised almost $10,000,” said Heidi Stilwell, who co-chaired the event with Jan McGuire.

“This popular tournament, luncheon and fashion show–yes, it’s a pretty full day–is the group’s primary fundraiser, with all of the proceeds going to support philanthropic projects. “Two of the programs we fund are geared towards children,” explained Stilwell. They are Operation School Bell, which provides clothing for low-income children in the Goleta school district and Kids on the Block, which brings puppet performances to local schools to educate children about subjects such as safety, bullying and getting along with others.

“These programs are important since they target children, and will hopefully impart meaningful memories and lessons to our community of young citizens. As recipients, these kids are exposed to charitable acts and valuable societal lessons in their early and formative years. The hope is to not only provide them with much needed clothing, but also a lasting impression of kindness delivered in a very respectful manner,” Stilwell said.

Las Aletas’ third philanthropic project is Operation Bookshelf, which provides homebound patrons with books from the Goleta library. “Children are our hope for the future, but we can’t ignore the elderly who have already paid their dues to society, so we also nurture them by delivering books to elderly shut-ins that can’t get out on their own easily. The books are important to them, but the visit itself is often the highlight of their week. We recently were able to donate $5,000 to the Goleta Valley Library to help them purchase more large print and audio books for not only our use, but for anyone else in need,” Stilwell said.

Tennis competition was held at private courts around town, with the team of Janine Lambe and Tina Brown coming out on top of the A Division; Suzi Johnson and Sandy Thornburgh winning the A-2 Division; Carole Leiff and Marlene Beckerman taking the B Division title; and Jill Briggs and Julie Meynet winning the C’s.

After a morning of tough competition on the courts, the ladies were treated to a luncheon/fashion show at the Hope Ranch home of Kristi and Bill Parrish. Las Aletas/Assistance League members and family members Jeanette Brooks, Julie Cannata , Bianca Castro, Marisol Castro, Cathy Cox, Linda Edgar, Jack Gay, Tricia Hiemstra, Susan Miller , Kelby Pintard, Thea Sandrich, Lisa Stanich, Mary Stilwell, Tomi Topinko and Barb Walker modeled fashions from the Tennis Shop of Montecito and Natasha Boutique, while guests enjoyed a catered lunch from Savoir Faire Catering and wine donated by Fess Parker Winery.

Also “playing to serve” (the theme of the event) were committee members Patti Beal, Ann Brinker, Sherrie Burgher, Carolyn Callahan, Diana Chaves, Barb Kennedy, Linda Logan, Kathie McClure, Mary Minore, Harriet Phillips, Beryl Schoenfelder, Alyson Spann, Lisa Stanich (who also modeled) and Pam Vander Heide.

For more information about Las Aletas visit

Originally published in Noozhawk on May 9, 2008.